David- Guanabacoa

Guanabacoa is an outlying municipal of the city of Habana with deep historical roots. During one of our weekly excursions we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the enriched Afro-Cuban culture that this town has to offer. Once a former location for slave traffic, today this town is home to one of the most famous Babalaos (Afro-Cuban “priest” of sorts) in Cuba. At the house of this Babalao, which is now a museum, we were taught about the ever-interesting Afro-Cuban religions like Santeria, Palo Monte, and Ifé. With confusing, but rather strong ties to the Catholic Church, these religions represent the strength of the Afro-Cuban culture that exists throughout Cuba. Also while in Guanabacoa we visited the Guanabacoa Municipal Museum within a restored colonial time house. This museum portrayed the many famous artists and musicians that grew up in this town along with a brief history of the municipal. While being a quaint, historically enriched town, Guanabacoa has also suffered the effects of old age and economic troubles. This visit overall gave a non-tourist view of Cuba that is very important to attain in order to fully become acquainted with the country.